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Furr's cafeteria closes in northern Oklahoma City

Auctioneer Louis Dakil will sell off all equipment starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The closed restaurant will be open for inspection of sale items from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and from 8 a.m. to sale time Tuesday.
by Richard Mize Published: August 23, 2012

Furr's has come to the end of the line in Oklahoma City.

The cafeteria line was long gone. Now the all-you-care-to-eat buffet line is gone.

Furr's Family Dining at French Market Mall, nee Furr's Cafeteria, closed last week, leaving longtime customers in the lunch. It was a dining destination at NW 63 and May for 39 years.

The chopped steak au jus with mushrooms, the baked cod almondine — the suite of salads, variety of vegetables, diversity of desserts, no more.

No more tall Jell-O.

Take a tray

It's just a big lonesome dining room now, booths crowded to one side, chairs stacked and dishes bused for the last time. The trays are cleared. In the kitchen, pots, pans and kettle are cool and clean; the mixer, fryer and slicer are idled; the stoves, oven and refrigerators emptied.

What remains lasts just until Tuesday, when auctioneer Louis Dakil sells off every last bit of it. The sale starts at 10 a.m. The closed restaurant will be open for inspection of sale items from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and from 8 a.m. to sale time Tuesday.

“We're going to sell everything, wall to wall, ceiling to the floor,” Dakil said. “If you want something, memorabilia, or (something) you need in your business, we're going to have it.”

Buffets booming

A sign on the front door directs customers to the Furr's Fresh Buffet on Interstate 35 near SW 19 Street in Moore. Lawton and Tulsa also have Furr's Fresh Buffet locations.

The owners, Dallas-based Buffet Partners LP, also have restaurants in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas and Texas, where brothers Roy and Key Furr started out in the cafeteria business in 1946.

Changes in consumer tastes and preferences doomed the dining room, said David Wilburn, one of the managers of the closed Furr's in north Oklahoma City. The cafeteria once trained Furr's managers before sending them out to run their own places, he said.

“Furr's nowadays is looking to go to the buffet concept instead of the straight line cafeterias. That's the new concept that people like. This lease was over so they decided to shut it down,” said Wilburn, who has worked for Furr's since 1999.

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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